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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Dec 26, 2009 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-6-73 Dark Star

Been saying it for years - this is THE Dark Star. At least my personal fav - the "Inside out" 3rd stage - the only one of it's kind - I LOVE this show - See notes below


Dark Star 'matured' -- and doubled in length -- during the October '68 Matrix shows. The first full-grown ripe Dark Stars are the Live Dead Dark Stars of the first half of '69. There are more than 30 versions circulating on tape. The structure of this Dark Star (a "Live Dead", or "First Stage"

Dark Star) is as follows

DS theme & jam > 1st vocals > jam > DS theme jam & 2nd vocals > transition > another tune (e.g. St. Stephen)

The Second Stage Dark Star evolved during the summer of '69 -- primarily by the moderate expansion of the jamming before 1st vocals and the addition of "space" after the 1st vocals. Its structure is as follows

DS theme & jams > 1st vocals > space > additional jam > DS theme jam & 2nd vocals (or Tiger) > transition >

Family Dog 8/30/69 28:56 and Winterland 10/25/69 22:05 are fine examples of '69 Second Stage Dark Stars.

The Third Stage Dark Star does not emerge full-blown until '72 but several performances in '69 and '70 anticipate it, notably; Family Dog 11/2/69 30:06, Fillmore West 2/8/70 26:43 AUD, Fillmore East 2/13/70 29:46, and Fillmore East 9/17/70 27:10 AUD.

After 11/8/70 they dropped the second vocals. They revive them at the Academy of Music 3/23/72 23:34 and once more at Portland 7/26/72 30:49, and then not again until the Dark Stars of '89 - '94.

The climactic Third Stage Dark Star only appears full-formed in Europe '72.

It's structure is:

DS theme & jam > additional jams > return to DS theme jam & 1st vocals > space > additional jams > Tiger > more jamming > transition >

After the appearance of the Second Stage Dark Star, nearly all Dark Stars take this form, but after the appearance of the prototypical Third Stage Dark Star there are still many Second Stage Dark Stars -- 'Second Stage' because they lack the additional jams (plural) both before and after the 1st vocals. For instance, the Tiger appears in many Second Stage Dark Stars as the climax of the post-space jamming. What distinguishes Third Stage Tigers is that The Tiger is just one episode in a series of jams following space -- sometimes it forms the climax & leads to transitional jamming into the next song; other times further episodes of jamming follow it (Sputnik, Feelin Groovy Jam, Mind Left Body Jam, ...)

Third Stage Dark Stars tend to be more than 30 minutes long. Obvious examples are

Wembley London 4/8/72 31:30

Dusseldorf 4/24/72 42:58 (including 3:10 of Me & My Uncle)

London 5/25/72 35:13

Hollywood Palladium 9/10/72 34:59

Philadelphia 9/21/72 37:22

Waterbury 9/24/72 34:13

Kansas City 11/13/72 32:16

Houston 11/19/72 31:22

Winterland 12/11/72 32:43

Springfield 3/28/73 32:14

Oklahoma City 10/19/73 28:49

Winterland 11/11/73 35:12

Cleveland 12/6/73 42:27

Rotterdam 5/11/72 48:38 is the longest Dark Star known besides Family Dog 8/28/69 63:#51

Winterland 10/18/74 31:34 represent the tune's dissolution into space.

Cleveland 12/6/73 42:27 is remarkable not only for its scale but for its structure, which turns the customary Third Stage structure inside-out, working in toward the Dark Star theme, rather than starting from it, and moving out into space after the 1st vocals rather than back from it.

Besides the Dark Star Gigantea, or Third Stage Dark Star, another remarkable species of Dark Star is the Dark Star Ferox. These don't have quite the 30-minute plus dimensions of the Third Stage Dark Stars but they have a characteristic fierceness of attack & intensity that makes them stand out.

Obvious examples are:

Austin 11/15/71: 26:04 (including 4:46 of El Paso)

Hamburg 4/29/72 29:26

Madison 10/25/72 24:04

ice petal



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